Originally Posted by cowgirl928
The stable where Hunny is boarded consists of a bunch of people refusing to believe that
1. Horses have to be fit for saddles
2. Collection means nothing to them
3. They believe gaited horses are useless
OMG. Can't blame you for not wanting anyone else to be on her. My barn is not big (there are between 15-20 horses there, depending on how many are there for training). And it's not a big Show Barn - there's a small show team, virtually all of them school-girls. But we are STILL on the regional saddle fitter's list of places to go when he's up at the huge annual 3-day event three towns away, and he usually spends a day at the barn.
All of the school-girls rider hunter-jumper, most of the adults in the lesson program ride dressage, but EVERYONE understands about collection even if they don't get it from the horse (I don't because Huey isn't ready for it yet). The emergency backup riders I have are good enough to get him on the bit at the canter and keep it through his down transition, which I'm not able to do (yet).
I already love my barn, and the BO treats my boy like he's one of her own, but it's great to hear this kind of thing...makes me appreciate the barn even more.
Have fun with your lesson! If I were in your shoes, I'd be expecting the trainer to just spend some time watching me ride and watching my horse move and evaluating where we're both "at" - so don't be too disappointed if you don't do a lot of "learning" at the first lesson. A good trainer will assess you and the horse as individuals and as a team, and then put together a personalized instruction for you.
Dressage is a great thing to learn - it is great for keeping your horse supple and balanced and fit - good for his (or her) joints...and it's great for the horse/rider communication. I think it would be a terrific investment for any rider!